Ban on same-sex marriage not discrimination: Japan PM’s remark sparks row

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03/01/2023

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country’s ban on same-sex marriage is not discriminatory, insisting that constitutional freedom of marriage only envisions heterosexual unions, a comment that triggered criticism he is backtracking despite his recent apology and meeting with LGBTQ people. Kishida’s governing Liberal Democratic Party, known for its conservative family values and reluctance to promote gender equality and sexual diversity, is virtually the main opposition to legalization of same-sex marriage and other measures of equality for LGBTQ people. Asked by an opposition lawmaker at Tuesday’s parliamentary budget committee if he thinks a same-sex marriage ban constitutes discrimination, Kishida said “I don’t think disallowing same-sex couples to marry is unjust discrimination by the state.”

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